Train Sim World 4
Train Sim World 3 – Bustling Birmingham
Birmingham Cross-City Line: Lichfield - Bromsgrove & Redditch will be arriving as a brand-new Starter Pack, and Add-On, for Train Sim World 3 on November the 17th. We thought we would take a look at some of the landmarks that you have to look forward to!
Whether this is your first time experiencing Train Sim World 3, or you are already a seasoned driver, Birmingham Cross-City Line has plenty for you to see and do, so jump aboard the BR Class 323 and hurtle across through the West Midlands exploring Britain’s second city. Crammed full of history, as well as recent modernisation, the Cross-City Line offers an interesting mix of classic features, modern architecture, well-known stations, and famous Railfan locations. As you head along the line there is so much to experience, so let's take a look at some of the highlights of the route!
Pre-order Birmingham Cross-City Line: Lichfield - Bromsgrove & Redditch on Steam Now!
Birmingham Cross-City Line: Lichfield - Bromsgrove & Redditch
Lichfield and the North of the City
Starting approximately 27 Miles away from Birmingham in the historic City of Lichfield, the Cross-City Line has a far more rural feel than you would come to expect from a route that crosses the West Midlands’ industrial heartland. Heading south, bound for Birmingham, you will stop at various rural and suburban stations before arriving at the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield. Traditionally, it was a tourist escape from the City, but since the arrival of the railways it bloomed into a popular commuter town, this is also where the landscape starts to really change into the urban sprawl that is associated with the City of Birmingham.
Weaving your way from station to station, stopping and starting, your train will have started to get much busier with each stop, by the time you make your way under the infamous Spaghetti Junction and into the heart of the City, you will have a full train of jostling commuters keen to get where they are going.
Birmingham New Street
Arriving at the busiest station in the UK outside of London, you are greeted by fleeting views of the centre of this busy metropolis, this is due to the enclosed sub-surface design of the station and platforms, causing you to make your way through a cutting that is covered with various bridges and other stations on your approach. With 13 platforms being utilised constantly by various local and mainline companies, it’s no wonder it has its previously mentioned title, with 46 Million entries and over 7 Million exchanges between April 2019 and March 2020 this station's capacity is pushed to its limits.
A station has been on this site since 1854 and has only grown in size and footfall since its construction. It has undergone various upgrades and renovations, which include the incredible update of the entire entrance and waiting hall which opened in 2015. Once the 6000 tonnes of concrete that had been added in the 1960s were removed, New Street Station felt the light pour in for the first time in around 60 years. Its new open-plan, glass-roofed hall is now a feat of engineering and a genuine welcome space for tourists and commuters.
Birmingham University Station
Another first for Train Sim World 3 is Birmingham University Station. Unlike all of our previous stations created in the game, this one represents what it will look like rather than what it currently looks like. Due to be completed in December of 2022, and with a redevelopment plan costing around £56m its newly renovated site will be a more fitting and much more modernised station building on the north end, a widening of the platforms, a footbridge over the canal leading passengers directly to the campus, and a new public space around the new building.
Those with a sweet tooth should be familiar with this name, as it’s the home of Cadbury, World renowned chocolatier. The railways and Cadbury have been intrinsically linked since the company started. So when Cadbury chose to move to their new site on the (then) outskirts of Birmingham, creating a purpose-built settlement alongside it to house its workers, railway access was vital. This new idyllic English village was named Bournville, adopting the name of the local river Bourn. Bournville would go on to become Cadbury chosen name for its dark chocolate range.
Thankfully a station on the Birmingham West Suburban Railway was opened in 1876, right next to their proposed site, but with Cadbury opening their new factory in 1879 the station adopted Bournville as part of its name, and in the early 1900s reduced this to simply be known as Bournville. Today the station serves commuters heading to and from Birmingham City Centre, and of course the streams of tourists heading to Cadbury World hoping to get their hands on a sweet treat or two.
Lickey incline and the South of the Line
When the line arrives at Barnt Green Station it splits in two different directions, the first retains the double track line and heads into one of the most famous stretches of track in the country, the Lickey Incline. Sometimes when railway engineers aren’t able to go around a hill or through it, they face the difficult task of running a railway straight over it. Over a stretch of only 2 miles the Lickey Incline climbs at a gradient of 1:37.7. This short section of the line is the steepest sustained main-line railway incline in Great Britain. With a canal running adjacent that uses the longest flight of locks in the UK to climb 67 meters over a similar 2-mile stretch of the hill, this truly is a record-breaking hill for transport. The line was electrified in 2016 to ensure passengers could access the Cross-City Line to and from Bromsgrove and services started in 2018.
In years gone by the Lickey Incline has seen traffic of all types, because of this it has remained incredibly popular with Railfans who are keen to spot locomotives being pushed to their limits to reach the summit. Utilising a unique set of whistle codes, steam train drivers would work in unison with a banking locomotive to make the climb easier. This process became so consistent that a locomotive was built specifically with the task in mind. The hugely powerful 0-10-0 locomotive, affectionately named “Big Bertha”, was assigned to help trains across the incline between 1919 and 1956.
Leaving Barnt Green Station, and bound for Redditch, you take the other Southernmost prong of the line and travel along the only section of single-line track the route has to offer. With a station that has moved location three times since it was opened in the late 1860s, Redditch is the final terminus for your journey. Much like the rest of the branch line, In its current guise, the station is also a single track and platform, offering you great opportunities to learn how to drive trains from both ends in the same session.
Train Sim World 3: Birmingham Starter Pack
If you are thinking about getting started with Train Sim World 3, or are a seasoned Train Sim World player and are yet to take the plunge into Train Sim World 3, the Birmingham Starter Pack is the perfect place for you to get started. Coupled with the Training Centre and all of Train Sim World 3’s immersive features, the Birmingham starter pack gives you everything you need to get started, learn the ropes, and feel the power of Train Sim World 3!
Learn the fundamentals of train driving in the Training Center, get to grips with moving a locomotive, switching points, and navigating this free-roam environment. Experience extreme weather – new volumetric skies and lightning bring a transformed atmosphere to routes. Feel total immersion as you learn the art of defensive driving to stay in control. Customise your own scenarios and liveries, then share on the Creators Club.
Get started with the Birmingham Starter Pack, then build your Train Sim World collection.
To get your first glimpse of the upcoming Birmingham Cross-City Line: Lichfield - Bromsgrove & Redditch be sure to watch the Railfan TV tonight (Tuesday, November 15th) at 17:00 pm UTC - Don't miss it!
Find out more about Birmingham Cross-City Line: Lichfield - Bromsgrove & Redditch, Train Sim World 3, and more by following @trainsimworld on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok.
Written by Chris Payne
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Train Sim World 4
Train Sim World 3 – Bustling Birmingham